Business, Marketing

Personalize Your Marketing Without Creeping People Out

We now have the ability to personalize marketing messages more specifically than at any time in previous history — but should we? A study by the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group found brands that pursue personalized experiences for their customers see as much as a 10 percent increase in revenues.

However, within that, companies have to be careful to find the line between targeting and stalking. It’s all too easy to look like you’re spying on people.

Personalization is a powerful tool that can help you connect with your customers on a deeper level and build stronger relationships. However, if you’re not careful, personalization can also come across as creepy or invasive. Here are a few tips for personalizing your marketing without creeping people out:

  • Be respectful of your customers’ privacy. Don’t collect or use personal information without their consent.
  • Be transparent about how you’re using personal information. Let your customers know how you’re using their data and give them the option to opt out of personalization.
  • Personalize your marketing in a way that’s relevant to your customers. Don’t send them irrelevant or unsolicited messages.
  • Use humor or other lighthearted touches to make your personalization more fun and engaging.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Ask your customers what they think of your personalization efforts and use their feedback to improve.

By following these tips, you can personalize your marketing and keep yourself from looking like a major creep. With that in mind, here’s how to personalize your marketing without creeping people out:

Ask for Their Permission

Have you noticed the preponderance of popups on sites lately disclosing their use of cookies? Explaining why you do so and highlighting the benefits the customer derives from the practice is a strong first step in the right direction. Transparency is important. That way, when messages arrive from you, they know why, and how they were chosen to get them.

Along this same line of thought, it’s better to take an opt-in approach than an opt-out one. Too many marketers, in their zeal to build as broad a list of prospects as possible, put customers in situations in which they have to say what they don’t want, rather than what they do. People are more receptive to the manifestations of situations when they’ve opted-in to them.

Lay Down the Ground Rules

When you ask people to agree to receive your marketing messages, give them an idea of how frequently they can expect to see them. You should also let them know how to unsubscribe in every message you send.

Further, you should apprise them of any associated fees, charges or other obligations. Inform them about the types of messages they can expect to receive, and ask for feedback from time to time to ensure they’re still cool with hearing from you.

Be Selective About the Information You Employ

The story of the dad who learned his daughter was pregnant from a Target mailer has become something of a legend in the marketing world. It’s also a clear example of a marketer failing to be selective about the way they used data.

Regardless of the nature of your product, whether you’re running on a platform like Shopify to sell electronics online, lingerie or health food products, you know what your customers have bought from you in the past. You also know what pages of your site they visit most often and how long they stay on those pages. They may have even provided feedback and testimonials about their experiences.

However, if you aren’t careful about the way you apply that information, you can overstep the bounds of good taste. In Target’s case, they learned to bury the products they wanted a customer to see among other more benign products to avoid similar situations.

Establish a Pattern and Stay With it

When customers become used to getting regular messages from you geared to their needs, they relax and check them out. If you do it in fits and starts, they could forget about you during the in-between times.

To that same end, always make it a point to reintroduce your company in each and every message. Include the name of your business if it’s a text message. Run your logo if it’s an email. Either way, the voice and graphic appearance should be consistent with that of your site too. You want your missives to be immediately recognizable.

Long story short, personalizing your marketing without creeping people starts with asking permission to contact them. You should also tell them what you’re going to do when you do so. Choosing your messaging carefully and being consistent are important as well. Do these things and you’ll find your customers will be looking forward to hearing from you.

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